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Collectible Series

Coal Tipple

Coal TippleA typical mining structure found throughout the bituminous coal region, the tipple was built directly over the mine shaft. The head wheels guided the steel cables from the engine house to raise and lower the cages into the shaft, moving coal, equipment, and miners. As the pit cars were hoisted to the surface, each load of coal was “tipped” over and loaded into larry cars. First constructed from the abundant supply of timber, the support frames for the tipple were later built of steel.

Cost: $20.00 Each

Coke Ovens

Coke OvensBuilding a standard beehive coke oven required 3,000 crown bricks, 1,200 lining bricks, 120 bottom tiles and 20 cubic yards of stone. In the beehive oven, the coal was “baked” for two or three days at approximately 2,000 degrees farenheit and produced a yield of 2/3 ton of coke from every ton of coal. The resulting coke was nearly pure carbon and was in great demand as a fuel in the iron and steel making process. In 1910, of the 55,166 coke ovens in Pennsylvania, 44,252 were located in the Connellsville Coke District.

Cost: $20.00 Each

Company Store

Company StoreThe hub of activity in each patch was the company store, which provided all the essentials of life: food, clothing, mail, garden supplies, gifts, hardware, and mining supplies. In later years they also supplied gasoline. Each coal miner and coke worker had a separate account identified by name, house number, and work tag number. Purchases were recorded and the cost deducted from the worker’s bi-monthly wages. In addition, the store at times served as the miner’s place of wage payment and his recreation center. One if the largest company store chains in western Pennsylvania was the Union Supply Company, incorporated in 1898. The chain served the coal and coke plants of the H. C. Frick Coke Company which later became U. S. Steel.

Cost: $20.00 Each

Blacksmith Shop/Stable

Blacksmith ShopSince horses and mules pulled coal and coke wagons in the pre-mechanical industrial era, the stable and blacksmith shop were an integral part of the mining community. The coal companies had a considerable investment in their livestock, and it was the driver’s duty to care for his horse and protect it as he would himself or a fellow miner. The stable provided a shelter where the animals could be boarded and their needs attended. In some shaft mines, horses and mules were housed in underground stables. The blacksmith made repairs on mining tools and equipment and sharpened the miners’ picks, augers, and bits. He also worked as a farrier and shod the horses and mules.

Cost: $20.00 Each

Coal Shed/Outhouse

Coal ShedLocated in the backyards, this four-door structure served as a combination coal shed and privy. It accommodated the needs of the two families occupying the company-owned double house located at the front of the property. Children carried coal in burlap sacks to fill the coal-shed each fall to ensure a supply of coal for heat and for cooking. Sanitation crews, known as “honey dippers,” cleaned the outhouse or privy section on a regular basis. The structure was usually painted the same color as the company house. A whitewashed fence often surrounded the entire yard, which usually contained a vegetable garden and/or flower garden, a clothesline, and sheds for any animals kept by the family.

Cost: $20.00 Each

Hand carved coal miners, produced by David Castano, Columbia Carvings. Each figure is unique; please specify African-American or Caucasian.

Coal Miners1903 version: miner with canary cage and carbide headlamp

1930 version: miner with safety lamp and battery headlamp.

Cost: $25.00 each





Coke Oven Blue Print

Company House